09/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/21/2021 02:32
The ECOWAS Commission, on 15th and 16th September 2021, assembled heads of Road Safety Agencies, Transport Ministries, and other government officials in-charge of Road Safety Policy in Member States to review and consider proposals for an ECOWAS Regional Road Safety Policy, Regional Road Safety Regulation, Action Plan and a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. The Workshop, held in Lagos Nigeria, was also attended by the West African Federation of Engineering Organizations and virtually by the African Development Bank.
The World Health Organization in its 2016 publication on road safety reported more than 6000 deaths on average on roads of ECOWAS Member States. These fatalities keep increasing and largely surpass the number of deaths resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. Like a pandemic, the ECOWAS Commission is working with Member States to put in place protocols and prevention measures through a common regional framework with best-practice strategies aligned with the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety 2021-2030. This will ensure harmonized concerted actions to curb this menace, since it costs more to do nothing.
The Commissioner decried the gloomy situation of road safety in the region and called on authorities of Member States to support the ECOWAS Commission in finalizing the regional policy framework documents to enable the timely submission to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers Meeting in December 2021 for their adoption for regional application.
The Road Safety policy for the ECOWAS region aims to significantly reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries, with focus on highest possible safety standards through common ECO-WAS road safety strategies; integrated approach with other policies (health, legal, environment, employment, etc.); shared responsibility among key pertinent agencies/authorities at country and regional levels; improved standardization (infrastructure, vehicle safety, road user attitude, post-crash operations and care); and alignment with other societal objectives to scale-up investment in road safety with proper training of professionals, and development of skills.
The ECOWAS Road Safety policy will set the regional Vision and will be accompanied by a Regional Regulation or Road Safety Charter with commitments by Member States to improve road safety through the eradication of identified risk factors. It will also have an action plan with SMART measures to usher all ECOWAS Member States to a coordinated desired end result. Results monitoring and evaluation is also an integral part of the regional drive to reduce the carnage on the roads of the Community.